Matrix Production Solution: When a vision becomes reality

Imagine it would be possible to produce completely different parts on one system and, depending on your production requirements, to equip this system for the production of additional parts within a short time. You could increase your production at short notice, change the type and produce individualized. Inconceivably? That is why KUKA has developed matrix production and presents this production model of tomorrow already today live on the company premises in Augsburg.

The KUKA SmartProduction Center turns the versatile and flexible Matrix Production Solution into reality. Increasing type variety, more frequent changes of model, quantity fluctuations: current market conditions require suitable and competitive production solution.

A smart solution is needed.

The smart system is centered on the software package KUKA SmartProduction_control, which is based on artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. “Our intelligent software has an overview. It knows where the moving AGVs are located, which component the AGV needs to deliver to the robot, and quickly prepares a conversion.”, says Dr. Andreas Bauer, software architect of the KUKA division Automotive.

Fully automated intralogistics with AGVs.

Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs), as transport vehicles, make production flexible and versatile. The decoupling of intralogistics from production is another key advantage of the smart Matrix Production. Controlled by KUKA SmartProduction_control, the AGVs fetch tools from a tool store and then transport them into the production cells that need to be equipped. At the same time, the AGVs move to the centralized material warehouse, which is decoupled from production, in order to transfer the centrally-stored components required for the production process within the cells. All cells are equipped with product-neutral basic functionalities and can be simply expanded with product-specific tools depending on the level of orders and batch sizes. “With the configurable production cells, combined with the freely programmable intralogistics and our new KUKA SmartProduction_control software package, we are able to provide our customers with everything they need for flexible and versatile production”, says Dr. Johann Härtl, Head of Competence Center of the KUKA division Automotive.

The versatility of the system is perhaps the most decisive criterion.

The system is retooled within a short time. Matrix Production can thus become a decisive competitive advantage compared with rigidly linked production concepts. In comparison, the Matrix Production requires the same space, but can be optimally distributed within that space. Due to the centralized logistics, less personnel is directly tied to the system and to the logistics. Furthermore, intermediate storage areas and material provision at the system are dispensed with. The entire value chain is networked – Conclusion: Production becomes more flexible, competitiveness is increased and cost-effectiveness is improved.

Want to experience the Matrix Production live?

We are looking forward to see you in Augsburg! Visit our SmartProduction Center at KUKAs headquarter and experience live how for example car doors and wheel arches of different OEMs are manufactured on the same system: the retooling takes place within a short time.

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